101 Dining Lounge and Bar This venue, and winner of Time Out Dubai’s Best European restaurant award this year, is a sparkling example of romantic outdoor dining in Dubai. The menu offers an excellent mix of Spanish- and Italian-inspired plates. The restaurant closes each year during Ramadan, so make the most of the last few weeks to visit. One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 440 1030).
Arabian Tea House If you have visitors in town, then traipsing the sun-soaked streets of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (formerly Bastakiya) is a must. Once you work up a thirst, head into this hidden courtyard café for a break. It’s a truly ambient and rustic little escape from the rest of Dubai. Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai (04 353 5071).
Boca This fun and laid-back Mediterranean restaurant and bar is one of the newer dining options in DIFC. Boca has a leafy and green outdoor terrace, flanked by plants and shrubs to give it a little extra privacy from the world outside. DIFC (04 323 1833).
Bussola From Monday June 1, this two-tier Italian restaurant will close for the summer. There are plans to refurbish the fine dining area during this period, but the pizzeria will remain unchanged. This week will be your last chance to enjoy the al fresco Italian spot. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road (04 399 4141).
Clé Dubai This modern Middle Eastern restaurant and lounge headed up by famous chef Greg Malouf came Highly Commended as a newcomer at this year’s Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards. Inside, it’s dark and sultry, but it has a large outdoor terrace, too. While this is mostly bar and shisha space, you can still try the amazing menu out here. Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (04 352 5150).
Cove Beach This stunning beach club boasts indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy. The full à la carte menu is only available inside, but, since it’s last-chance saloon to sit outside, try the small dining menu and mixed drinks at the beachside lounge. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (050 454 6920).
Frioul Bistro de Luxe The southern French and Mediterranean cooking at this elegant restaurant are of a high standard. We are fans of the frog’s legs with parsley and garlic puree. For now, the most pleasant place to dine at Frioul is on the attractive waterside terrace. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 567 0011).
Hakkasan Closing on the first day of Ramadan, this summer Hakkasan will be creating a little cocoon for itself, emerging at the end of the season with a new-look bar. Before it does, you can enjoy the modern Cantonese menu on the ambient, screened terrace. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 384 8484).
La Terrasse at Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire Three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire offers a very fine, dinner-only experience inside his restaurant. However, if you head out onto the terrace, or rather ‘La Terrasse’, you can try an entirely different menu of tapas and bar snacks in a much more casual environment – at more accessible prices, too. Reflets and its terrace will close for Ramadan. Intercontinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1199).
Life’n One Head to this new yoga studio and healthy eating café rolled into one in Jumeirah and lounge like you’re in one of Goa’s hippy bars, sitting amid greenery and natural wood furnishings in the lovely outdoor garden. The menu offers a vegetarian- and vegan-friendly selection of healthy recipes. Street 27B, off Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1 (04 343 6676).
Perry & Blackwelder’s Madinat Jumeirah’s new smokehouse and bar is a great spot for Deep South-style comfort food. Think mac ’n’ cheese, smoked beef brisket, fried chicken wings and more. You can choose to sit inside the bar, but we much prefer the outdoor ambience by the Madinat canal. Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5866).
Raffles Garden This entirely outdoor dining venue is a relatively new addition to Raffles Dubai. Guests can enjoy a simple mix of classic Arabic mezze and shisha here, in a series of private cabanas located outside in the botanical gardens. Raffles Dubai, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).
Retro Feasts One of the newest haunts at The Beach also boasts the best proximity to the shore for al fresco dining. Sit at one of the tables converted from old industrial bits and bobs and sample a fun and modern British menu with retro inspiration, featuring a very good burger and dishes such as coronation chicken salad and fish finger sandwiches. The Beach, JBR (052 722 6462).
Rhodes W1 Michelin-starred celebrity chef Gary Rhodes offers a traditional yet modern take on British cooking at this restaurant and bar. If you can tear yourself away from the pretty interiors, there’s a pleasant terrace where you can dine. And once summer hits, we think you could even pretend you’re outside while dining within the green, butterfly-adorned indoor space. Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 317 6000).
Rivington Grill Its sister at Madinat Jumeirah may have just closed its doors for good, but the Souk Al Bahar branch is still going strong. Celebrate its survival – and your survival of the summer – by dinning on the terrace overlooking The Dubai Fountain. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0903).
Seven Sands This brand-new addition to The Beach is also a new addition to the Emirati dining scene in Dubai. You can sample traditional dishes such as harees, thereed and fouga. In fact, you can even order a whole ouzi dish, such as an entire stuffed baby lamb, or a whole Jordanian mansaf (also made with lamb). There’s an ambient outdoor terrace upstairs with views of the beach. The Beach, JBR (04 551 6652).
Solo Bistronomia & Vinobar This grand Manhattan-inspired space of exposed red brick was crowned Time Out Dubai’s Best Newcomer at this year’s Restaurant Awards. Within the huge multi-tiered, multifaceted space, you’ll also find three different terraces where you can dine. There are two small, intimate spaces located upstairs, as well as one large one downstairs. Raffles Dubai, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 370 8999).
The Hamptons Café The roof on the second floor of The Hamptons Café has been opened up as an outdoor terrace – a new addition to the venue since we first visited. And very pleasant it is, too. Head up here and enjoy the café’s regular à la carte menu. Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim (04 331 5118).
The Scene by Simon Rimmer One of our favourites within Pier 7, The Scene has successfully tapped into a much-needed market for low-key yet fun and fresh dining in Dubai. We love the mismatched tables and chairs on the terrace, which overlooks the Marina. Pier 7, next to Dubai Marina Mall (04 422 2328).
Zengo Two top chefs offer a menu of original Latin-Asian fusion dishes at this venue. The restaurant boasts three bars, one of which is a large outdoor space, and you can also choose to dine here with views of the beach behind you. It’s a great spot for sundowners while it’s still just about cool enough. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Sufouh Road (04 316 5550).